7 Stages of Addiction Grieving: Opioid and heroin death grieving

How can we handle the death of a loved one that has passed away from opioid or heroin or any drug addiction?

The truth is it’s almost impossible because unfortunately, we’ve been watching our loved one die repeatedly probably for years.

The 7 stages of grieving give us clarity on emotions we feel when a loved one passes. When my dad passed away from addiction, I found that I experienced different emotions that I wasn’t sure I should feel guilty about. Below are the steps of grieving I have taken after watching my dad struggle with addiction throughout his life.

7 Stages of Grieving an Addiction Death

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Anxiety | Initially, all the built-up fear in anticipation for a fatal overdose or accident is now a reality. An anxiety that has built up for years will take over. 

The first feeling is anxiety. All the built-up fear in anticipation for something to go wrong hits you like a ton of bricks. This is it. This is the time you’ve really feared the most and now you’re facing your fear. Everyone reacts differently to anxiety. I screamed in my tears, I was trembling, bent over at the waste looking out the window trying to catch my breath. I paced my little apartment and after 10 minutes, I put myself in an uber to the hospital.

Tip: Turn on auto-pilot. 

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Relief | It’s common to feel relieved in weeks following the loss of a loved one. You are no longer constantly worrying about your loved one’s safety.

It’s not uncommon to secondly feel relieved. You never know when the next time will be the last time and suddenly that anxious feeling escapes you and is filled with a new feeling of disbelief that this is over. Maybe you’re used to your loved one in and out of jail or on the streets, and your mind may convince you that this is like one of these times and it will take a few months, even years, to realize this isn’t the case.

Tip: Don’t feel guilty. Your body and mind need the rest. Don’t fight it.

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Trauma | The last moments with your loved one’s body are extremely traumatizing. TV shows, movies, or seeing addiction in person can cause strong emotions. 

The third feeling is experiencing sudden realizations of what happened. If you were the one to find your loved one unconscious or if you saw them in the hospital trying to revive, you’ll be brought back to that place. It’ll feel like free falling. A pit in your stomach that you can’t explain and a dark place that you’ll need to be careful not to stay in. The last moments with your loved one’s body are extremely traumatizing because you want to believe so badly that they could’ve or should’ve been revived one last time.

Tip: Breath in and breath out slowly. Remember your loved one is no longer in pain and that’s most important. 

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Regret/Guilt | Regretting the weeks leading up before the death is common. We question whether we did the right thing and if our final decisions caused the death. We take the blame. 

Along with the third feeling comes a form of regret. We put addiction aside and wish that we should’ve been there more and we envision if we had just been their things would’ve been different. We take self-blame and ownership of the addiction. Confidence in all the decisions we made throughout our loved one’s life is key. These feelings will come but you can control if they stay.

Tip: Remember, our loved ones never wanted us to take on their problems as our own.

note from dad before he passed away

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Misunderstanding | We’ve mourned the loss of the soul before. Now we are connecting the loss of the soul with the loss of the physical person. It can be complicated to explain or experience.

Fifth is a feeling of others not understanding our grief. We’ve mourned the loss of the soul far before the passing of the body on and off and no one will ever understand that. Others may not understand that the soul was harder to grieve than the body and now the combination is nearly incomprehensible. We’ll feel that people just don’t get it and feel alone and a bit frustrated. When we say we miss our loved ones, we miss them in ever since of the word. While when our loved one was alive, we missed who their spirit made them. Now we’re experiencing the desire to have any form of our loved one back.

Tip: Talk with loved ones. Try to be vulnerable and open.

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Calmness | We’re not used to feeling calm. Our bodies had become used to chaos. Now we’re adjusting to more predictability in our lives.

Six is the feeling of loneliness and a calm we weren’t ready for. Loving someone who is struggling with addiction makes us hyper-aware of everything. Every phone call, every time you hear an ambulance, you’re not sure if it’s for your loved one. Every time you walk in the door, you don’t know what version of your loved one you’ll get. Suddenly, you have to get used to not having those worries, and that makes us feel calm but at the same time lonely. Our bodies aren’t used to the chaos that addiction brings, but over time we adapt to the constant worrying.  Our bodies begin to function in chaos.

Now, we suddenly don’t have to worry about the ambulance on its way to give Narcan to your loved one. Now you walk in the door and it’s more predictable of what you’ll see. At the same time, this creates an unsettling feeling of emptiness and your body and mind are searching for something to fill the void. For a while, you may be extremely high strung, emotional, and feel out of place in a normal setting.

Tip: Let out your chaotic energy with a hobby, exercise, or something that is transcendent.

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Letting go | In time, letting go of pain and remembering the good memories and the spirit of our loved one is possible. 

Seven is the most wonderful feeling of them all. Letting go of your role as a constant worrier for your loved one. The feeling that your loved one is no longer in pain and that there is hope. Whether you’re religious or not, we all hope that our loved one is drug-free looking out for us. Now is the time to realize our strength and theirs throughout the years. Letting go of pain and remembering the good memories and the spirit of our loved one (without the all the memories of the disease clouding judgment) is relieving. We tell friends, family, and acquaintances stories about our loved one that show who they were as a person and not how the disease of addiction made them appear. It’s not easy to get to this step and it may take time. This is healing.

Tip: Keep a journal for when you remember memories.


The best thing to do is tell stories of your loved one often and keep their spirit alive. Cry when you need to. Get angry when you need to. Feel regret when you need to. But only as long as you remind yourself that you’re strong. You experienced pain that no one else can ever understand. It’s an excruciating pain to watch someones spirit leave and come back multiple times before actually dying. You made it through and that makes you one of the strongest people I know. If you’re alive, focusing on your health, and improving your life for yourself and others, you have no reason to have any regrets. We do all we can for our loved ones struggling with addiction, all in different ways.

Our loved ones want and need us to move on because the greatest feeling they feel is guilt. Wake up and tell your loved one out loud:

“You didn’t fail me. Your disease taught me strength. I go on today to make my life and other lives better because of you. You shaped me and I accept you for all that you were in my life. I will remember you always, NAME” 

7 stages of grief: addiction grieving

In memory of Steven Olbinsky, my best friend, my dad, my everything. March 23, 1964 – October 26th, 2017. As the years go by, there will be less time spent with you. Your spirit will continue to thrive because I’ll share the memory of you with others that never got the pleasure. Addiction is a disease that deserves more love and understanding. I believe that if you, dad, were able to love so deeply despite your disease, others can too. I have hope that together you and I will give a chance for healthy relationships, forgiveness, and love despite the disease of addiction. To learn more visit my website www.lolbinsky.com. 

Family members affected by drug addiction

My dad passed away from addiction on October 26th, 2017.
Our relationship was so rare. He relapsed when I was 13. I’d write in a journal- about suicide, self-blame, confusion, and anger.
 
I shared it with my dad when he was sober and we cried together and from that day I found out the impact that writing has and I have since that day made it my mission to continue to write.
 
He went to prison for 5 years and died 2 years after he was released. I recorded most of our phone conversations if I was on the computer because I couldn’t explain to people how unfair it was and how desperate for help he was. And I wasn’t sure if it’d be the last call I’d have with him…
 
The last call I had with him I knew it’d be one of the last because he told me. He told me,
“I don’t want to do drugs anymore. It would be so nice to just close my eyes, and not be a disappointment anymore.”
 
Two nights ago I relistened to it. As painful as it was to listen to it reminds me of his struggle and how others are going through these same feelings he did. And that people like us- we are the SO incredibly strong for having to see people we love dead without actually dying.
 
I was robbed of time with my dad because of heroin, crack cocaine, and prescription pills but I also learned to love harder than ever and never take for granted the people around me that hear me. 
I’ve talked to a lot of people who beg to know why. Who just want an answer and a solution.
 
 I feel each of your pain so deeply and what it really confirms is our strength. Our emotional state is tested to the absolute limit. Yes, it’s horrible and unfair, but it’s also beautiful. It’s a beautiful disaster that we can feel so deeply.
Start a conversation about how deeply you love with hashtag #RisingHope on Instagram and learn more about Rising Hope here.

My Dad has Passed Away

Vyachelsaw “Steven” Olbinsky. On October 26th, 2017 my dad has passed away at age 53. My dad is my hero, my best friend, my everything. He is my reason for living. I will talk about him every single day. I still hear him and I feel him in my heart. I always have because that’s the love he gave to me.

Steven Olbinsky

I am too tired to write all my 1 billion thoughts now but please read his obituary  and if you would like, I am asking for donations for my dad’s funeral in lieu of flowers. All additional funds will be donated to overcoming addiction.

Tomorrow is the funeral. I hope everything goes well and my dad sends me strength.

My dad’s heart was weak but a week before he died, he called and told me he was tired. It wasn’t a cry for help, it was raw honesty. Addiction is a terrible disease but I promise that my dad stayed strong through it all. He is the greatest thing to ever happen in my life and I would never trade him for any other dad. Not for one second.

Our bond was the most beautiful thing in this world. Love is so powerful and I saw it at maximum force.

 

Love in a Time of Heroin — carolineshonesty

This story is written by a woman named Caroline about her relationship with her husband who she found out was addicted to pain killers and eventually heroin. It’s quite beautiful and portrays the truth about drug addicts. They’re good people. They are amazing dads, sons, daughters, mothers who are caught in a terrible disease and sometimes can’t escape. I’m not sure if Caroline will see this message but I’d thought I’d share.

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This story is beautifully written and shows the truth about loving someone with addiction. As you said, “You can’t just simply walk away from the person you love the most.” and that is absolutely true. You can’t. Love is way stronger than an addiction and we as strong women see past the disease and know that deep down our loved ones are fighting the hardest battle of their lives. You know that Jacob would never want to put you or your son in jeopardy but heroin has a greater control over action than what’s right. Thank you for sharing this. I write about my relationship with my dad. I’m very lucky he hasn’t lost his life to addiction but everyday I think I’m going to get the phone call. He is my best friend and I would never ever disown him for the disease he has to bare. He is the most loving father and has taught me how to be a strong, independent and caring woman.

A lot of things you talked about are similar to my dad. My dad was working in the hospital and got caught with drugs. Soon enough I’d find spoons and needles. I was only 13. It was the most frightening feeling to think you were losing someone that was right in front of you.

Caroline, thank you. Thank you for writing this and for sending the right message- that heroin addicts are not junkies, they’re not bad people. They are amazing fathers, daughters, mothers, sons, with a really bad disease.

 

I submitted this essay to the New York Times column, “Modern Love” with the hope that I could reach a whole new audience with a very important message. Although they did not find the essay right for their needs, I still want to share it. I was positive I had met the man I would […]

via Love in a Time of Heroin — carolineshonesty

Growing Up with Heroin

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I was told by someone that they wanted to understand what growing up around heroin was like for me and today I woke up with the greatest amount of anxiety I have felt in so long. During these moments of weakness I felt it’d be best to explain what I’m feeling. Please, if you haven’t dealt with addiction and come here to treat me as though I look for sympathy or to criticize me for being weak, you don’t know me at all and I want you to leave. This is something I’m writing to those who can relate to what I am feeling right now and not for you to judge.

I woke up with a feeling that was painfully unclear where it was coming from. I couldn’t tell if I felt it in my heart, in my bones, or in my entire body rushing through my veins and into my brain. It felt a bit like panic. I felt like I couldn’t keep my own head on my shoulders and I still am having that feeling now. I am shaking beyond the normal amount I shake and I have taken more deep breaths than I do during my nightly meditation. When I touch my skin it feels unreal. It feels like I’m dreaming a bit. I feel like I can’t hold a conversation. I feel like I can’t sleep but I can’t bare to stay awake. I feel like everything around me is gone and I’m alone yet everyone is looking at me.

 

I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that made me feel this way. I didn’t have a nightmare which I have very often. And things in my life are going fairly well.

 

Then I stepped into the crisp air of fall and I almost burst out into tears. I was brought back to more than ten years ago. The month of October was the month my dad had been released from prison the first time, the time when my grandma would only have 3 more weeks to live and I felt alone and scared. My dad was released and I felt I had my dad back. Sober, muscular and refreshed.

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My dad and I the day he was released in 2006, three weeks before my grandma passed away.

It didn’t last long as a week after my dad was home, after he had tried making up for lost time and bought me a new wardrobe. I remember sitting at my computer that day when I picked up my phone and my mom told me that my grandma had died. I cried and with my eyes full of tears I was by myself thinking of how painful it was to hear the words that I had been scared of hearing for the past year and a half when I found out my grandma had cancer.

At my grandma’s funeral I remember the leaves were finally falling off of the trees. It was sunny but the air was crisp just like today. It stung more than the anxiety and depression. Is it just me, or is anxiety and depression a feeling of nothingness and everything at the same time. Two very conflicting feelings attacking each other inside of your soul and bringing a numbness to our mind?

My dad showed up to the funeral an hour late and in a distressed condition. My grandma, Anna, was his best friend in the entire world and he had missed out on 9 months of her last breaths in prison. I hadn’t seen my dad for the next two days and I could hardly swallow that he had relapsed and I would experience the frightening sight of burnt spoons in the bathroom and sporadic bursts of anger throughout the house. But when he finally came home in his Outback, it wasn’t the same.

This time my dad wouldn’t speak. He walked like a zombie into the house with his pants falling to his ankles. On my way to school as I walked past his car I glanced inside to see two needles in the trunk.

My first time seeing heroin.

I felt I had lost my dad again but this time he wasn’t paranoid and angry. Now he was soleless. He was gone and yet he stood right in front of me. I was no longer his daughter. I was just another human that couldn’t give his body what it needed.

It was the second time I had seen him transform into something that he wasn’t but it was the first time I felt that I had experienced wanting to not be alive. The unexplainable paranoia and anger when my dad was doing crack cocaine was scary but seeing my dad lifeless and zombie-like was like seeing someone’s life be sucked out of them. It’s like in the movies when they tell you, you shouldn’t bring back the dead because they’ll be a different person. My dad was someone I didn’t recognize and I had never felt so alone.

 

I guess when I first felt the crisp air this fall my mind took me back to this moment. I’m certain of it because I haven’t had this clear of a revision of this memory since. Just like 11 years ago,  I’ll get through this too.

 

So what’s it like for me to grow up around heroin? It’s the spark that reminds me that I can love harder, survive anything, accept everything, and still keep going. It’s the reminder that there is a feeling of real pain, that feeling so down you are numb is the most unique feeling that sometimes feels quite safe. It’s almost like the opposite of love. You’re filled with something that you can’t explain. It’s taught me that we’ll all feel or be alone at some points in our lives even if we have everyone around us. It’s okay to feel alone and sad and confused, as long as you make it through. It’s a reminder of how lucky I am to have a relationship so strong with my dad. It made me passionate and relentless. It made me kind and appreciative. It made me understand that life can be unfair but sometimes the most unfair things in life are what make life so beautiful.

 

I can’t say that I’m happy I am feeling this anxiety today but it’s a familiar feeling that brought me back to the weakest time in my life. I may have a cry but not because I am weak, because I am so proud of myself for making it through what seemed impossible to get through. I’m proud to have this familiar feeling come back and to know that nothing will ever defeat me. Not my own body, not another human, not my own weaknesses.

There was nothing bad about growing up around heroin because my dad is my best friend in the whole universe and I am the most appreciative person for it. Everyday my dad struggles with the disease I know that he is trying to fight to be in my life and that is the most beautiful thing anyone can live for.

If you grew up with heroin tell me if you agree:

  1. We love harder than anyone in the world.
  2. We don’t take things for granted.
  3. We know that life isn’t fair. We know anxiety and depression.
  4. We understand the concept of losing someone more than once.
  5. We push people away who make us feel that we aren’t independent.
  6. We believe in loyalty but know to what extent loyalty jeopardizes our safety.
  7. We know pain.
  8. We’ve seen things we didn’t want to see but makes us strong.
  9. We live deliberately. We stick up for what is right because we know the consequences of not.
  10. We are healers in some way or another.

The Eyes of Honesty: Saying Sorry For Addiction

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Last year I wrote a blog post about my dads eyes when he was high and how the eyes never did seem to lie to me, even when he did. Now I want to share the truth that my dad give to me and still continues to give to me. Let me take you back to a time I remember vividly from when I was 16 and first opening up to my dad about my feelings.

My dad was never afraid to say sorry when he was sober and I think that is what made my heart grow two sizes when I was going through all of this. I knew he was in agony emotionally. How can you not be? Your life is crumbling below your feet and you want to hold on but you can’t and in your mind that’s your own fault and you begin to eternalize that. So to be able to let the words, “sorry,” come out while looking into my eyes is bringing all those emotions to life. That is ownership. My dad was taking ownership in what he thought was the shattering of my life. Truthfully, it didn’t ruin my life, it gave my life meaning. Especially on this day.

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My dad came into my room, my sanctuary that kept me protected from the life I had outside of those pink walls,  and sat on my bed next to me. He held my hands in his and shaking he looked up into my eyes.

“I’m so sorry” he spoke with what I can imagine felt like a spiked rock in his throat.

I can’t find the words to describe the way he looked at me. But it was something like a life or death thing. Like if he could run around the whole planet to show how sorry he was, he would’ve. It was as if every bad thing he had ever done, had been put into his words and he was trying to get rid of all of them with his eyes. What I guess I’m trying to say is it was the most sincere sorry I’ll ever hear in my life. And it puts the phrase, “Apologies don’t mean anything if you keep doing what you’re sorry for” to shame. Because that apology meant everything to me.

It wasn’t about if he would relapse again because I knew it wasn’t an empty promise at all. It was a sorry from the heart begging to be set free but knowing it wasn’t that simple.

When my dad said this to me, I began tearing up. I could tell he was choking up and the thought of my dad, the toughest Russian I know, crying made me crumble inside.

I’m not sure what I said right then but I’m sure it was along the lines of what I still say to this day. I love you, you’re my best friend and nothing will ever change that.

One of my favorite things about my dad is the interest he takes in my life to the minuscule detail. It never has bothered me because I find it really cute that a tough burly man loves the dainty details of a teenage girl. When I had my first boyfriend, he’d not only ask if I was treated well. He’d ask what we talk about, how happy I am and what makes me smile most. Once when I went on vacation and came back he was like Leanna did he give you a kiss when you came back? He better have missed you! I was like, dad! NO! But he was like C’mon, Leanna. And I bashfully said yes. It was embarrassing but it was sweet that he asked.

As my dad and I were sitting on the bed, I told him I kept a journal and wrote about my feelings when he was high. He asked to read them. My heart sank as I walked over to my Windows XP, and opened my Xanga account (what would be today’s Tumblr). It was my private account that I kept my day to day musings of a 13 year old living with the stress of other kids being mean, liking boys, worrying about being liked, and dealing with addiction.

There were posts about real suicidal thoughts in there and I mustered up the courage to talk about them to the man that created me. If you’re curious exactly what they said, I wrote a post about them a bit here.

I read them and it was no longer a spiked rock in our throats it was full on sobs. We cried together and absorbed our pain and in all that pain we found strength. We grew together even more than before.

After we both found tranquility in our comfort, my dad asked me, “Leanna, please print these out for me? I want to have them.”

I printed them out and my dad came to me a few days later. He read them at his Alanon meeting and told me the whole room went silent, “So silent you could hear a pin drop”. He said he could feel the way the words resonated with the group. My truths, my deepest feelings that I wrote for myself, were used in resonation and that is when I decided that I’d use my words and my feelings and my dads love to heal the world.

On a sober mind, my dad is honest, gentle, and caring. He is the most sincere man I know. My dad gave me the truth of my meaning that day. That we were put into this situation to help others with genuine honesty.

Yesterday my dad texted me “Sometimes I wonder what if but than I would not have the most perfect daughter in the whole wide world. I love you my BabySo.”

It hasn’t been an easy few months for my dad and I, but there isn’t a day that I give up hope. I don’t rely on change, but I cheer him on. I’ll always hold on to his sorry and sobriety. Because I know it’s still in his heart, fighting to come out.

 

Parents Addicted to Heroin: How to Raise Children

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To the parents that are struggling with addiction- don’t give up on yourselves. All your children need from you is love. The pressure of being a parent is already heavy- raising a little human is not easy and you always want to do the right thing for them and there aren’t any black-and-white answers on what that means. We know ourselves, our weaknesses, our flaws and even through parenthood we are still searching for answers while raising a child. When we have the opportunity to mold a child we want to do so in a way to mitigate those negative qualities on our children. That is without a drug addiction. Now you add in an addiction and the pressure is pulling you to the burning core of this earth.

Being a Parent with an Addiction to Narcotics or Heroin

For any parent struggling with addiction, there is no doubt that we love our children and want the best life we can give them, but our brain can only surpass the impulses to use for moments at a time. We love seeing our children smile and we love making our children happy but we also need to get high. When it comes to facing the truth – whether we are ‘there’ for our children or not, we aren’t really there. And that is a burden we must carry with us until the day we die. The burden of feeling like a failure not only in society but also as a parent is one that no one can ever imagine. So everyday that we are there- really, truly, soberly- for our children we feel immensely overjoyed and thankful for the moments we have with the one we created and suddenly we don’t feel like so much of a failure because we have a beautiful product of life in front of us that still loves us unconditionally.

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What We Ask for from Our Parents

That is all a child can ask for in life and it’s something that if you’re fortunate to get you can cherish it for life. It’s something we desire to find with a significant other and it is a feeling that calms the soul and makes us feel invincible to the world especially during tragedy. Don’t be afraid to lose the love of your child because of your addiction because that is not what defines love. We, your children, will stick by you through it all (click the link to why I am okay with my dad relapsing). We will defend you through thick and thin no matter what. All we ask for in return is unconditional love. Even when we distance ourselves, even when we get angry and run away or hide. We want to be loved! And we learn from a young age that our parents should love us and we, without even knowing it, hold you accountable for just that.

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Love is Unconditional and Addiction is not an Exception to That.

My parents couldn’t send me to college. My parents couldn’t always be “there” when I wanted them to be. But my parents never made me forget for one day that they didn’t love me. Do you know how hard that is to do when you have a substance addiction? There are things that they have done that an outsider can look at and say is unforgivable. Even my parents are unforgiving to themselves at times. I love my parents more than anything in this world because they have shown me unconditional, sincere, love. When my dad was in prison, he’d send me 4 pages of reasons he loves me and why and I’d get that letter on a week where I was feeling depressed because I didn’t feel like I deserved to be at a private university alongside kids who were taking advantage of their parents generosity. I’d read his letter and nothing in the world mattered to me anymore except that I had the power of love. My parents didn’t have to stay together. They were never married and they were on different coasts. 3,000 miles away they both made the commitment to live together no matter how toxic they were together. They did that for me and that is unconditional love.

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What We See Our Parents Do Doesn’t Define us and Doesn’t Mean we Aren’t Loved

Not to say I should’ve seen half of the things I saw growing up- Can you imagine knowing the smell of crack-cocaine and burnt tinfoil in the bathroom drawers by age 13 followed by spoons and needles in the backseat of the car that takes you to dance class? Do you think that a parent would wish to make their child a part of that? No. It just happens. You can’t really control it anymore. Maybe if it was your first time using, and you knew that in 5 years you’d have a child to care for  but if you insert the needle that means you can’t actually be there for them and you will probably hurt them so badly you’ll make them feel insignificant– but we don’t know that the first time we use. People can hate us for becoming a parent in the first place but don’t make our children hate us.

We Can’t Give Up On Each Other Even if We Need Distance Apart

So parents – speaking to mine as well because I know you read my blog- please don’t give up. We, your children, we are hurt and we are scared, we are mad, we are confused, but we love you unconditionally. We don’t care what other people say about you. We don’t care if you are going to relapse tomorrow. We don’t care if as defined by society you are a “bad” parent. All we care about is that you love us unconditionally and tell us that. We want to feel loved by you no matter how much we ignore you or run away. We may not be willing to give that 5th or 6th chance to you right now but that does not mean we don’t want your love. We know you are going through pain and it is even harder for you than it is us. Please don’t give up. We want you to feel better but we know we can’t help – you have to do it on your own. That doesn’t mean that we can ever stop loving you. All you have to do is own up to your flaws and tell us you love us.


The Recent Neglected Child from the Heroin Overdose in Needham

-On the video of the overdose in Needham. First of all the person filming this. I do not understand how you and other bystanders could not reach out and hug this little girl. As for this heartbreaking video, this poor little girl has no idea what is going on. She understands her mother is unresponsive but she doesn’t know why. She probably won’t understand for a long time, until it really sets in that she is in a bad situation. I’m not sure the way her life may turn but it alarmed me and sprung me back into my feet that I want to be a hero and an idol for these kids. We seen this one filmed but that doesn’t mean that this is happening everywhere else where heroin is a problem.

The Future Generation of Children with Parents Addicted to Drugs

The gap between high class and low class is only going to become more divided with the amount of children that have parents addicted to drugs that cannot afford to take care of their family. Their are more than 8 million children right now that have parents addicted to drugs. These children are going to come out strong. They are going to make it. But only if it is handled with deep care for both the parents and the children AND the relationship that they have. There are laws that government officials must take for the safety of the child but to alter the relationship between children and biological parents from a young age can be so harmful. These children need someone to look up to and to not feel controlled by the fate of a foster home or the fear of inevitably becoming a replica of their parents. I want to diminish this fear because you don’t have to feel that way and once you don’t it is the most invigorating feeling.

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Having an Equal Compassion for Both the Addict and the Child

I want to be there for the parents that make the mistakes that feel like they are better off dead. No one should have to feel that way. Learning to love someone else even through an addiction is so important. There is no excuse for abuse but the guilt a loving parent who has a problem with addiction feels is unbearable and it is hard to admit to something so awful especially when you can barely remember and feel like you had no control.

I’m no expert but I have a lot of love for both addicts and children of addicts. Sometimes people need understanding from both sides to help the healing of an epidemic.

If you’d like to learn more about my nonprofit visit Rising Hope’s main page to see how to donate, how to get involved and more about the mission.

No Drugs: School Zone

Mon, 26 Feb 2007 

I haven’t stopped crying for 5 hours… this isn’t healthy I just want him back in my life and he doesn’t want to and I have to realise it:/ nothing is going to be the same again. I don’t even want to live anymore.

Continue reading No Drugs: School Zone

Grace of New Beginnings

   Tonight I recieved a phone call from my dad at around 1030pm. It was surprising because in the past five years he would usually only call me before 6pm. I was excited anyway because I had just walked in the door from work and any earlier, I wouldnt have been able to answer. His voice comforts my soul, “Hi Baby-so!” he says. We know our time on the phone is limited so we instantly begin talking about everything important. First off my grandpas health, my health, his health, and about the other people we care most about. Then we talked about new movies my dad has seen which is funny because recently he has seen more movies than I have.
    We talked about my graduation and how proud of me he is and we talked about how proud my grandpa is of me. A couple weeks ago my grandfather compared me to the pope. My dad explained to me that in translation from English to Russian, being compared to the pope is a very big compliment. He explained to me how much my grandpa loves me and how we are all facing reality of his old age and his strength for staying well.
     I told him that I wanted to raise money for kids that have parents addicted to drugs. He told me a story about a family he once helped. He knew a woman with two kids who barely had clothes on their back. He had recently bought me a playstation 2 so he decided to give the kids the playstation 1 that I had now retired for the newest edition. “I have never been so hurt. When I went back to ask the kids how they liked it, the mother had already sold the playstation for drugs.” He told me what I was doing was very special and how important it is for these kids to look forward to something.
    Our conversation suddenly reached a topic I try to avoid. The reality of what is to happen when my father will be released from prison. It has been five long years and of course I am more than estatic to have my dad back in my life but I have become so comfortable with my way of living that it will be a hard adjustment for me to try to understand what he is going through in his head.
    “I want to make money,” he said. I told my dad that the most important thing for him to do is maintain his health and let me worry about the money and that I can help us both. Money comes and goes, and opportunity to make money will always be there, but our health is going to be especially important.
     “I cant believe I have missed out on 5 years of your life,” he said. I told him that he has been my motivation these past five years and that he cannot let his past dictate his future especially since it has felt he has been with me the whole time, in my heart.
    “I don’t want to start smoking again,” he said. This is where I began to feel a drop in my stomach and a knot in my heart. This is a thought my father was having and if this were a thought in his head, I knew that heroin was also.It isn’t to say that I did not know it was something he probably thought of every day. Subconciously we like to put the things that we know we cant change, and want to, in the back of our heads, and that is one thought I always try to bury far down.
    “I just remember when my mom was sick the last time and ….” He didn’t finish his sentence. His mother, my grandmother, was my dads best friend and her diagnosis of cancer was the beginning of my fathers relapse. She passed a week after being released from prison 9 years ago. I like to think he stopped himself because he knows this time will be different.
    “One minute remaining on call”. The prison calls always seem too short for what I must pay. We said our goodbyes and now I will have to wait to hear from him again.
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